THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S GREATEST HITS
‘You look like you’re ready for bed!’ To the President of Nigeria, who was wearing traditional robes.
‘Ah, so this is feminist corner then.’ To a group of female Labour MPs at a Buckingham Palace drinks party in 2000.
‘You have mosquitoes. I have the Press.’ To the matron of a hospital in the Caribbean.
‘Do you still throw spears at each other?’ To Aboriginal leader William Brin during a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, 2002.
‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?’ To a Scottish driving instructor in 1995.
‘What do you gargle with — pebbles?’ To Tom Jones, after the Royal Variety Performance, 1969. He later added: ‘It is very difficult at all to see how it is possible to become immensely valuable by singing what I think are the most hideous songs.’
‘You managed not to get eaten then?’ To a British student who was trekking in Papua New Guinea, during an official visit in 1998.
‘I would like to go to Russia very much — although the bastards murdered half my family.’ In 1967, when asked if he would like to visit the Soviet Union.
‘People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.’ In 2000.
‘If you stay here much longer, you will go home with slitty eyes.’ To a British student on a visit to China in 1986.
‘British women can’t cook.’ Endearing himself to the Scottish Women’s Institute in 1961.
‘You are a woman, aren’t you?’ To a Kenyan woman in 1984, after accepting a state gift.
‘I wish he’d turn the microphone off!’ During Elton John’s performance at the 73rd Royal Variety Show in 2001.
‘If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort, provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.’ To the Aircraft Research Association in 2002.
‘You didn’t design your beard too well, did you? You really must try better with your beard.’ To a young fashion designer at Buckingham Palace in 2009.
‘It looks like the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from her school art lessons.’ On seeing an exhibition of ‘primitive’ Ethiopian art in 1965.
by Robbo Green